Tuesday, April 26, 2016


White Ibis - from a rainy day on Tom Sawyer's Island in Disney

Next opportunity for Tuesday Tweets: 5.2.16 $2Members/$4Non-members
Happy Birding!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

4.24.16 - Bird Nerd Moment - At the edge of my neighborhood
Yarmouth, MA

The last day of school vacation, there is often a last gasp for something different, fun & hopefully outdoorsy, to do.  It was brisk but sunny so I decided a bike ride should be in order. My daughter agreed, even though we both had a slightly different agenda.  We are very VERY lucky to be able to say that the Cape Cod Rail Trail is being extended into Yarmouth... as we SPEAK! (type, read... really, it's causing traffic issues and everything).  We are THRILLED to have this cutting through our town and we'll be able to access it through our own neighborhood - which is just tremendous!  My goal was to show my daughter how easy it'll be for us to hop onto the Rail Trail as soon as it's good to go & without riding on any dangerous main roads.  I can't WAIT!  Her agenda was to show me how beautiful an area we have at the other end of our neighborhood.  It's a puddle of sorts, a GIANT puddle, turned vernal pool, turned secluded wetland.  It's kinda fairy tale-ish when you get up close to it, which is what she wanted to show me.  She was right.  Once when we visited this little known, save bordering residents and wildlife, spot - I couldn't help but take some photos and agree with her.  It is truly a special spot.  It was quiet & peaceful and green, with little sturdy moss islands protecting the base of each submerged tree trunk.  Yes, in the back of my head, my mommy voice screamed "MOSQUITOES!!!  TICKS!!!  BACTERIA!!!", but my curious kid voice just said, "Cool.  What a cool spot."  Which is why my little monkey wanted to show me in the first place.  She knew I'd appreciate it as a precious wetland habitat worth visiting and having quiet time in... (while wearing DEET in season.)  Unfortunately there was human garbage here and there, car tires floating in the water, and some scrap metal discarded in the wood's edge.  Upsetting, of course, but also a reminder to her how terrible humans can treat the earth, particularly when there's an inconvenient problem... tire disposal.  Sigh... what'cha gonna do?   It can't be good for the tire chemicals to be slowly seeping into the water.
Carelessly discarded car tire trash

Back to the good part though, it was awfully quiet at this time of day in this little hidden wetlands so nearby.  We have seen a mallard couple paddling through the roots and hideaways when we visited another time.  This time, my little monkey climbed up on a strong tree, appreciating the space for it's sights, sounds, smells... peace.  

We didn't quite make it to the Rail Trail.  This spot & moment was too quiet & special.  I hope you have a place, or placeS to visit such as this.  I like to believe we can preserve them to share them.  The spring peepers know how to share their appreciation come dusk.
(double click photos to enlarge)

My nature-loving monkey

Hidden wetland

Happy Birding!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

4.21.26 - Bird Nerd Moment... but not mine, a Tuesday Tweeter sent an email to me.

Regina & Ron, regular Tuesday Tweet bird nerds when on-Cape, were sailing off the coast of Georgia today, about 3.5 miles off coast she said, and this little guy flew in and landed on Regina's head on the boat!!!  Wait 'til you see the photos she sent me!  This beautiful Black-throated Blue Warbler was most likely on migration and perhaps was blown off course by strong winds... impossible to know how he ended up where he did.  How fortunate for ALL that he landed on their boat, and stayed with them for a while.  He must've been thoroughly exhausted!  The amount of trust and comfort he exhibited... man-o-man WHAT A GIFT!   Essentially, they probably saved his little warbler life by being in the right place at the right time.

I know not everyone is as touched by the natural world.  I have learned that the caring folks like Regina & Ron and countless other warm souls I get to spend time in the wilderness with, are moved by these unpredictable incredible moments.  When I hear amazing stories like this, I just have to share.  Compassion I've found isn't always just there... but so many of the people I meet at the museum, do share this common bond.  Caring for the creatures of the world, particularly when they are in desperate need, and especially when THEY CHOOSE YOU in such a situation... well words maybe don't seem sufficient.  Let the photos tell this kind story. Thank you so very much for sharing Regina & Ron.  Safe travels and may the warblers of the world watch over you, always. (double click photos to enlarge)

Black-throated Blue Warbler - male

Black-throated Blue Warbler perching on Regina, warbler princess!

Happy Birding!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

4.12.16 - Cape Cod Museum Of Natural History - Tuesday Tweets - John Wing Trail Brewster, MA

FINALLY!  We got to see the Osprey pair in action this morning!  We missed them the last Tuesday Tweets as there's been some wacky New England weather we've had to deal with.  This usually makes me concerned for migrants... especially because I've heard that someone's spotted a Ruby-throated Hummingbird in Falmouth just last week!  Sigh... when you care about wildlife and wonder how the heck they DO this - SURVIVE in such harsh conditions, no winter coat, no heat, no home cooked meals... well, it's just who they are I suppose.  I still worry though, but I do understand they're wild animals.  The local Osprey seem to be EVERYWHERE you turn & drive here on the Cape, which is such a welcome sight!  Yes, even if they poop on my car as I'm driving by... what'cha gonna do?  
We had an exciting FOX SIGHTING on our Tuesday Tweets this morning too!  What's awesome about bird lovers, is they're nature-LOVING, so it was a sweet treat getting to observe the fox hunting, successfully!  We saw him pounce on the marsh and trot off with his freshly captured breakfast, perhaps for himself, perhaps to feed his family.  Some of us caught a glimpse of a Red-tailed Hawk as well when we stopped off at the solar calendar & field on the John Wing trail.  I also noticed a Tree Swallow swooping above... we soon saw three more dancing above the meadow together.  Hopefully their nesting in the boxes that have been set up on the salt marsh & meadow.  We didn't get great views of the American Goldfinch that were sneaking around, this way & that.  We fortunately were also happy to hear a couple of Pine Warblers warbling away in the pitch pines along the trail. Somehow, we managed to dodge most of the raindrops.  If you're lucky enough to live near a pond or any wetlands, the spring peepers have escalated their peepings at dusk.  Isn't that the happiest sound!  Spring has sprung!  Hooray!

Our List:
Song Sparrow

Northern Cardinal
Black-capped Chickadee
House Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Great Black-backed Gull
American Crow
Laughing Gull
Red-tailed Hawk
Tree Swallow
Pine Warbler
Brown-headed Cowbird
American Goldfinch
Herring Gull
Downy Woodpecker
Turkey Vulture

Osprey pair on the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History's 
osprey platform & ospreycam

Red Fox!

Look at that big healthy looking tail!

Bird Nerds!  What a fun bunch!

Northern Cardinal - male

House Sparrow - male

Song Sparrow... singing...


Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow - note the band on the right leg.. 
probably banded by Sue Finnegan

Song Sparrow with another serenade

Osprey, perching waiting for mate to return

Osprey pair

Nest spotted on the trail - Carolina Wren nest possibly

Bird Nerds hiking around the mudpuddle

Mourning Dove
Happy Birding!
Next opportunity for Tuesday Tweets: 4.26.16 $2Members/$4Non-members

Thursday, April 7, 2016

4.7.16 - Bird Nerd Moment  - My yard & street
Yarmouth, MA

I heard it!  I heard the familiar trill and it caught my ear... for a split second my brain said, Song Sparrow... then my inner voice disagreed... "PINE WARBLER!  THAT'S A PINE WARBLER!", I said to my friend & neighbor LeAnne.  We have these great weekday morning walks with our dogs after the buses come to collect my kids for school.  LeAnne said, "I SEE IT!  IT'S RIGHT HERE!"

And so we saw our first Pine Warbler of 2016!  ALWAYS more exciting when you get to share moments like that with a friend!  LeAnne is also an avid bird lover, though we disagree on crows! ; )   We are fortunate to live close to DY High School & on their property there is an osprey platform.  We get the benefit of those majestic birds swooping and calling over our homes for the next 5 months or so.  LeAnne and I also have heard a Great Horned Owl at night & we love sharing that we've heard it the next morning when we see each other.

The photo I got of the Pine Warbler male is not a great one.  I really need to upgrade my phone so I have a better camera on there for spontaneous moments such as this... but here he is!  Being a bird nerd is way more fun when you get to share it with another nerd!

Pine Warbler - male
We also saw and heard:

American Robin
Herring Gull
Brown-headed Cowbird
Downy Woodpecker
Mourning Dove
White-breasted Nuthatch
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
House Sparrow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
American Crow 
 (anyone I'm forgetting LeAnne?)

Happy Birding!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

4.6.16 - Bird Nerd Moment - My friend Amy's kitchen floor
Yarmouth, MA

Baby animals.  Baby animals are pretty much my favorite thing on the planet.  Five baby animals all at once... heaven.  My friend Amy and her animal-loving family just adopted five chicks so they can have happy free range chickens and their eggs (eventually).  This trend of birds and bees and vegetable gardens is truly WONDERFUL!  I wish I had the dedication for all of the above!  I'll settle for now with visiting my new feathered friends.  

I am no good at naming the breeds of chicken that these fluffy little wonders are, but you KNOW I will find out.  When I was in my Animal Industries class at UMASS Amherst, during our poultry class, the professor passed around a Barred Rock Hen... an experience I will NEVER forget and LOVE to remember.  Please enjoy these shots below & I cannot wait to watch them grow & flourish in this spectacular home!  

Welcome to Yarmouth little chicks!

Happy Birding!
4.6.16 - Bird Nerd Moment - Cape Cod Museum Of Natural History 
Brewster, MA

We had a staff meeting yesterday to gear up for the "busy season", though things are always busy at the museum.  There are new exhibits and new building plans for expansions and permanent upgrades that are going to bring members back and attract new visitors.  One of the latest installments have been to Bird Alley which is located on the lower level of the museum.  Bird Alley is a spot I could easily spend (and have!) an hour in, and where I continue to learn about my favorite native winged creatures.  There is now a hand-held guide for those who are interested in understanding the local birds a little more.  There is also a new interactive "Listen to native bird calls" board, which young visitors have been delighted with!  See photos below... 
If you haven't visited the museum in a while, April vacation (4/16-4/24) is an ideal time to come back.  There are great programs all week, and we hope to see you there!  Oh... did I mention the osprey have returned! (Click here for ospreycam) YAY!

Bird Alley Guide

Come play and learn at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History!

Happy Birding!
Next Opportunity for Tuesday Tweets: 4.12.16
Next Opportunity for Birdwatching for Beginners: 4.21.16